President Obama is set to outline today the details of the "cash for caulkers" program.
With a price tag of about $6 billion, the program will provide incentives for folks to make their homes more energy efficient. Whether its new insulation, energy efficient windows (which I can tell you from personal experience can save you a small fortune in energy costs), or any other major or minor energy upgrade, the new program is designed to stimulate job growth and help consumers save a few bucks on energy costs.
There's no doubt that improving efficiency is one of the easiest and quickest solutions to our energy woes. And I suspect there will be few political obstacles on this one.
Of course, "cash for caulkers" isn't quite as sexy as "cash for clunkers." Consumers tend to be more interested in the cars they drive than the insulation in their attics. So it will be interesting to see how they promote it.
Nonetheless, this should provide a quick boost to those companies that will undoubtedly benefit from this program, like Owens Corning (NYSE:OC), Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowes (NYSE:LOW). Of course, given the state of today's still very-fragile market, who knows if it will be enough to matter much. It really has become a never-ending battle of optimism versus broader market reality.
But the very real benefits of energy savings could still make this program worthwhile. Long-term economic sustainability depends on smart energy decisions today. Making our homes more energy efficient is definitely a step in the right direction.